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2020’s Cannabis Cup winners, and where to buy them

The year 2020 might have been an epic fail, but at least some fire cannabis still shined.

It was clear in March, as long-standing 4/20 events were canceled or postponed, that the usual slew of cannabis competitions—High Times’ Cannabis Cup, The Emerald Cup, Harvest Cup—could not happen; at least in the traditional sense. So they pivoted, democratizing the voting process, or holding remote judging.

This year, High Times’ Events Director Mark Kazinec helped organize the first national Hemp Cup and three “People’s Choice” Cannabis Cups in Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado, with three in the works for Oregon, Arizona, and Southern California early next year.

Instead of curating a select group of celebrity judges, Cup kits shipped to dispensaries across each state, allowing for thousands of regular degular people to share their opinions on the best their state had to offer.

“We wanted to make this competition and the chances to be a judge more accessible, and bring some fun to a dark world this year,” says Kazinec. “Why not allow people to buy amazing products we curate? The people’s choice is all to the people; it’s not just for the OGs. We also want the soccer moms who want topicals, the people who are going to dispensaries.”

Despite the constraints that made traditional gatherings impossible—the circus-like tents, and fairgrounds to smoke, dab, vape, or eat cannabis with thousands of other fans—cannasseurs around the nation and the world remained committed to judging and crowning the best buds in the business.

While we wait in California until 2021 for a postponed Emerald Cup, here’s where to shop 2020’s most lauded cultivars, extracts, brands, and much more.

Colorado keepers

Originating from Colorado, The Grow-Off competition uses one cultivar to determine who can cultivate the dankest of the dank. This year, they partnered with leading breeders Cannarado to see who could grow the terpiest, stoniest, most high-quality nugs of Spritzer, a new cross between a Runtz mom and a Grape Pie x Capulator MAC dad.

Look out for Colorado growers Hummingbird Cannabis, who nabbed Best Overall Quality (and third for Potency).

Also, stuff your basket with the brand Fat Face Farms—they cinched both the terpenes and potency categories.

The Grow-Off Colorado 2020 winners Fat Face Farms all have standard thickness faces. (Courtesy The Grow-Off)

Grow-Off trophies also went to the same categories for non-commercial home growers; although to sample those you may need to know a guy.


  • You can find Hummingbird Cannabis at The Farm in Boulder.
  • And Fat Face Farms at Rocky Mountain Cannabis in the towns of Dinosaur, and Craig. (Yes, those are Colorado town names.)

Moving on, The High Times Cannabis Cup Colorado: People’s Choice 2020 contest had three categories for flower, two for edibles, and one apiece for concentrates, topicals, and prerolls.

The brand Indico dominated flower with Sour Strawberry and Mandarin Sunset alongside Pagosa Therapeutics’ Jabberwocky.

High Country Cones won Best Pre-Roll for one colorfully dubbed, ahem, French Wh*re.


  • Grab Indico products at Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique in Denver and The Canna Cabinet in Pueblo, CO.
  • Pagosa Therapeutics Jabberwocky comes from own grow and dispensary in Pagosa Springs, CO.

California champs

Competition remains stiff in California, and it shows the diversity of winners for this year’s WEEDCon.

The brand Top Shelf Cultivation’s Whoa-Si-Whoa won for Indicas, while Honeydew Farms’ sungrown Gelonade won the Sativa category. Zkittlez Mints from Mohave Reserve won Best Hybrid.

And in a unique category, Oaksterdam OG by the brand Originals won Best OG Kush Flower.


  • Top Shelf Cultivation sells at Roots Dispensary in Sun Valley, CA; and Downtown Patient Group in Los Angeles.
  • Mohave Reserve sells through Connected in Sacramento, all the way down to The Growery in Los Angeles.
  • Honeydew Farms sells statewide, including Mankind Dispensary in San Diego, Greenhouse Herbal Center in Hollywood, and Jingletown Cannabis Club in Oakland, CA.
  • Oaksterdam OG retails at the Originals Factory and Store in Los Angeles.

Washington winners

The results of Oregon’s High Times People’s Cup got pushed back until January, but outdoor growers in Washington state had the Sun Cup.

Major grower CannaSol Farms’ indica-dominant Blackwater won for Best Sungrown THC Flower, and their Lemon Meringue, a sativa, won for Best Light Deprivation THC Flower.

Melonade by Cascadia Cartel won best Solventless Concentrate.

“We were really excited to do so well.”

CannaSol Founder Jeremy Moberg

“We were really excited to do so well,” says CannaSol founder Jeremy Moberg, who initially proposed the Sun Cup to the Washington Sungrowers Industry Association as a fundraiser. “We basically swept the flower category and we feel super proud.”

A statewide Craft Cannabis Cup for small-scale indoor growers comes in January 2021.


  • CannaSol products appear across Washington in retailers like Buddy’s in Renton, The Novel Tree in Bellevue, American Mary – Ballard, and The Reef in Seattle.

Also, don’t sleep on any of The Oregon Grower’s Cup 2020 winners, including: Fenario Farms; Alter Farms; Luvli; plus, the Decibel Banana Punch and GMO rosins; and Blueberry Muffin greenhouse flower by Grateful Greenery.

Illinois—make some noise

In Illinois’ first Cannabis Cup, one brand proved themselves a cut above the rest. Revolution Global won gold in every category except edibles, where they took third place. Their best buds of the year? Turbo Lemon Cake, Gorilla’d Cheese, and Florida Orange, the latter of which also won the vape category for the company’s Terp Tanks. You can find these winners at The Herbal Care Center in Chicago and New Age Care in Mount Prospect.

The only brands to break Revolution’s winning streak? Bhang’s Toffee chocolate bar and Incredibles’ CBN-infused Snoozzzeberry Gummies.


    bars are sold in California and Incredibles in Colorado, as well as in Illinois at Maribis of Chicago in, yes, Chicago, and The Dispensary in Fulton.

New England/ East Coast represent

The Garden State is looking a lot greener going into 2021. As New Jersey prepares for the recreational market, the New England Harvest Cup held their fourth competition remotely with a streamed awards ceremony. Joe Merkt and Shamanic Roots won the Sativa and Indica categories for creamy lemon Bonkers and Rasta Pie, respectively.

Most of the Harvest Cup categories skipped flowers, and showcase products you won’t find in California. Edible and topical brand Mary Palmer took home a majority of the awards in their categories, with standout products like 24K Truffle Oil and 911 Salve. Their THC-infused pickles also won best edibles at the Maine-based Pheno Cup.

Outstanding in Oklahoma

Oklahoma led the way in 2020 with the first High Times People’s Choice Cup in June, paving the way for a new slew of cannabis competitions across the country.

Collaboration proved key this year, as the combined force of Red River Pharms and Exotic Genetix took first place in the indica and hybrid flower categories for strains Tina and Tropic Truffle.

ALTVM’s Lilac Diesel won for Sativa flower. ALTVM also partnered with Leaf Logic to win gold for dabbables with a solventless Garlic Breath (GMO X Mendo Breath).


    have landed at Barbary Coast Dispensary in San Francisco, California, and Cookies in Oklahoma City.
  • ALTVM retails at Electraleaf locations across Oklahoma state.

International all-stars

Covid canceled Spannabis this year, but promoters still held a (not so) Secret Cup! Secret Cup Bizkaia streamed their seven-hour award ceremony on Youtube in lieu of an in-person gathering. The best flowers in Basque country were:

    s’ Izozki
  • and Fruit Tartare #7 by D2Verdes.

Standout extracts came in the form of:

    diamond sauce from Backyard Barcelona x Team Flavours Hunting water hash from woman-run Aisha Sheriff
  • Aranua’s Strawpicanna ( Tropicanna Cookies x Strawnana ) rosin.

Parting shot: Hemp hitters

Unlike the Cannabis Cup, the High Times’ 2020 Hemp Cup invited growers and manufacturers coast to coast to square up, and they did. The best hemp flower of the year was Hawaiian Haze Hemp by Gold Standard CBD. Magu’s Nectar won best vape with Luxury Hemp Live Resin Lot #LR001, and Grön’s 135mg Truffles won best edibles.

History of marijuana strains

History of the most renowned cannabis strains. It is always useful to know more about the strains we are growing or willing to grow. In this category you will find info on the most grown varieties worlwide.

20 Vintage photos that prove cannabis was more popular than you thought

If you thought that cannabis was a cool, modern substance, then there’s nothing quite like looking back in time and discovering that our great-great-grandparents’ generation was already using this plant in much the same way we do today, at least until the moral crusades of the 1920s cut the habit short. And what better to verify this than with photographs of cannabis use that reached all strata of our Western society, from the lowest with hemp production (for almost 3,000 years the largest agricultural crop on the planet) to the highest, where doctors, aristocrats and intellectuals used cannabis to heal body and mind; or to expand the consciousness. The romantic movement informed humanity that if you wish to transcend the limitations of the flesh, look to nature because nature has the answer. Some people took this literally.

Cannabis in Nepal

The history of cannabis cultivation and use in Nepal goes back centuries, being one of the countries with the longest cannabis tradition in the world. Nepal is located in the heart of the Himalayan mountain range, wedged between China and India and within its borders lie 8 of the world’s 14 mountains over 8,000 metres high. It is therefore a mountainous country with impressive water reserves, which, in addition to the annual monsoon season, means that cannabis grows wild without any problems.

Over the centuries, Nepal has made a name for itself in cannabis culture for several reasons, such as its spectacular sativas, its incomparable handmade hashish or charas, and the natural way in which consumption was handled by the authorities (as well as the arrival of western tourists attracted by precisely these reasons) during the 60s and early 70s. Today we are going to take a closer look at this wonderful and beautiful country to learn more about its history in relation to cannabis.

Origins of Jungle Boys

Any fans of American cannabis genetics will already know of the Jungle Boys, a Los Angeles-based collective of growers who aim to produce high-quality, clean, and potent cannabis. They are known in particular for discovering and breeding amazing White Fire OG phenotypes, but also for the famous Mimosa and many other cannabis strains.

These days, they are an essential part of the North American cannabis scene, offering high-quality cannabis buds and extractions in several dispensaries in the United States, in addition to producing a whole range of derivative products, as well as a catalogue of seeds of their best-known varieties.

Today we are going to discover the history of the Jungle Boys, the origin of their adventures, from the first lamps in the garage to the installation of grows with several thousand lights, the opening of dispensaries, the production of seeds and merchandising, the lawsuits. and of course we will also tell you all about the notoriety that the Jungle Boys enjoy today.

Early steps of Ivan from the Jungle Boys

Today, the Jungle Boys are very likely one of the most popular breeder collectives in the US However, they have a turbulent history full of tribulations, so today we invite you to discover their history and, in particular, the journey of Ivan, the enthusiast behind this popular collective. A story full of twists and turns, from discreet grows in a garage at the beginning to installations with hundreds of lamps, a dispensary, corruption problems, legal battles with the city of Los Angeles. and finally the well-deserved success.

Mohan Ram and feminised cannabis seeds

Throughout the 1990s, particularly in the later years of the decade, the first feminised seeds emerged on the cannabis seed market. For the first time, growers did not have to worry about removing males, or about filling in the gaps left in the crop once they were discarded, or about accidental pollination of their plants. a true revolution had begun within the sector, and feminised seeds became a hit!

What for a few years seemed like some kind of a rarity to many, soon became the most demanded type of seeds in the sector, meaning that at the start of the new millennium there were already many other seed banks that had joined the wave of feminisation and had begun to produce their varieties (also new and interesting hybrids) in a feminised version. Although each breeder had his own technique of reversing the sex of female plants to produce “feminised pollen”, without a doubt one of the most used was, and still is, silver thiosulfate or STS. But where does this technique come from? Who was the first to put it into practice? Keep reading if you want to know the answer!

Mexico and marijuana

Mexico is certainly one of the New World countries with the strongest tradition in cannabis cultivation and consumption. Sharing borders with the United States to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the south, this wonderful nation is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and enjoys such disparate climates that it’s possible to go from a desolated desert to a luxuriant rainforest brimming with life, in a matter of a few hours.

In fact, (although, as we will see, it’s a widely contested theory) according to many sources, Mexico is the place where cannabis first arrived in the Americas. From there, it quickly spread both north and south, and to the Caribbean Sea islands off the east coast of Mexico. In this article, we take a deeper look into the history of this ancient plant in this beautiful land, which recently has been taking huge steps towards full regularization, and could become an example for many others.

The history of Purple Punch (Alpha Cut)

Purple Punch, from the best Californian dispensaries to the world

From time to time, we cannabis lovers start wondering about the origins of certain strains. On many occasions, this curiosity about the origin of certain genetics comes because they have reached a high level of popularity among users, while other times it’s because these strains are sweeping the board at cannabis cups or because we can suddenly find them in the best dispensaries or cannabis clubs of our cities.

Another reason for our curiosity could be that this strain has been newly added to the catalogue of our favourite seed bank. Well, this time we are going to dedicate an article to telling you more about the well-known Purple Punch, in particular about one of the most popular clones or cuts that have come from it, the “Alpha Cut”.

The Origins of GG4 – RIP Joesy Whales

This week began with the sad news that GG4 co-creator Joesy Whales aka Don Peabody, had died. He passed away in Las Vegas on May 6th at the age of 69 years old, doing what he loved most, and is survived by his wife, Angela, and their two children. We’d like to take this opportunity to pay our respects and pass on our deepest condolences to his family and at the same time, tell you a little about his enormous impact on cannabis culture.

Zamal, a legendary cannabis strain from Reunion

Zamal, cannabis from Reunion Island

Cannabis or marijuana is a plant that currently can be found in all corners of the world. There is clear evidence that the cannabis plant originated in the Eastern/Central Asian regions. Then, it spread to the Middle East, and afterwards, to both the African and American continents.

Over the centuries, through traveling and commercial activities, humanity established cannabis cultivation in areas where it didn’t grow naturally. A perfect example of this expansion is Zamal, the strain that reached Reunion Island and acclimatized to the point of growing spontaneously as a pure landrace for over two centuries.

Cannabis in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked country in central Asia, wedged between the western foothills of the Hindu Kush and the deserts of Iran, is a country with one of the greatest traditions of cannabis cultivation and, more specifically, of hashish production. Since it is believed that cannabis originated thousands of years ago on the slopes of the Himalayas (home of the largest mountains in the world), today it seems obvious that this was one of the first places where this plant was cultivated in a controlled manner, although even now there is still some confusion as to what kind of varieties have been traditionally grown in this area, as well as the “emergence” of the Afghan genotype, or in other words, what we now refer to as Afghan varieties.

What is clear is that Afghanistan is one of the cradles of cannabis and especially of hashish, with a tradition that today represents what would probably be the world’s oldest in terms of the development of hash. In addition, and according to the UNODC, in recent years Afghanistan has become the world’s largest producer of this resin concentrate, surpassing Morocco and seeing the cultivation of cannabis gradually displace that of another traditional crop in the Golden Triangle area, that of opium.

Origins of cannabis cultivation

Where did cannabis originate?

Mankind and cannabis have maintained a close relationship throughout the History. Although scientific and archaeological evidence allows us to estimate the date and place where it originated, it is difficult to establish its exact place – and time – of origin.

Critical Mass by Mr. Nice, a legendary cannabis strain

Mr. Nice Seedbank, a project by Shantibaba, Nevil and Howard Marks

Almost 20 years have passed since Mr. Nice Seedbank was founded in 1998 by Scott Blakey, Nevil Shoenmakers and Howard Marks. Scott and Nevil, former partners of Arjan Roskam in the Green House Seed Company, decided to share their strains by creating a new seed company that quickly earned its place in the market and which got the name of the alias of the third partner, Howard Marks. At the time when feminized seeds were entering the market and demand was increasing every day (in countries like Spain and thanks to grow shops people were starting to grow their own pot), Shantibaba (Scott) and Nevil developed some of the most popular genetics of that time, like Black Widow (their own version of the White Widow), Neville’s Haze, La Niña or the renowned Critical Mass.

The origins of Haze

What’s the story of Haze?

Haze is, probably, the most grown and renowned 100% sativa hybrid throughout the world. Its origins date back to the early 1970’s in the region of Santa Cruz, California (USA).During this time, two brothers known as the “Haze Brothers” (R. Haze and J. Haze) cultivated and crossed different cannabis lines using seeds of the best imported sativa strains, most times offered by their friend and neighbor Sam “The Skunkman”.It all began with a hybrid between a landrace sativa from Mexico and another landrace from Colombia. One year later, the best females selected from this hybrid were crossed with a landrace strain from southern India. Finally, the female offspring of this new hybrid was crossed again with a landrace male from Thailand.

The Origins of Diesel

Origins of Diesel cannabis strains

In recent years, Diesel strains have become, by their own merits, one of the most popular cannabis genetics, seeked by growers and users both for its intense and special taste and for its strong effect, mainly caused by THC contents which can exceed 20% in most specimens. As it often happens in the world of cannabis, the exact origin of this genetics is uncertain, although one of the most commonly accepted theories tells us that it’d be directly related to the Chemdog and, later, also to the OG Kush marijuana.